Wednesday, November 29, 2006

American Thanksgiving/ Grandma Christmas

We went to visit my Mom for American Thanksgiving last Wednesday...we also celebrated Christmas as we will be in Edmonton on December 25th. My Mom had the house all decorated for Thanksgiving. It was very cozy, pretty, and welcoming :).
It really does take a village to raise a child. There is nothing quite like one's mother to help be a big part of that village. Mom had The Very Hungry Caterpillar sticker books (among many other things :)) for Miss M that she did with her (my mom is a teacher by profession and by heart). Mercedes loved it. My mom is just such an amazing Grandma. She is so creative and has so many methods and ideas that she has learned over the years of being a mother and a teacher. She just LOVES her granddaughters.
We had a lovely visit. It was so nice to see where my mom lives (as she just moved this fall). It was interesting as I was down there I realized two things that are on completely different waive is just how Canadian I am and the other is that Thanksgiving is untouched.
I definitely can tell that I became an adult in Canada. There are subtle differences and I really do feel at home here. There is a part of me that will always love my America. There is another part of me that is so happy to live and love in Canada. These two countries share my heart. Each in a very special way. I was a child in America. I became a wife and mother...I grew up... in Canada.
What I mean about Thanksgiving is that people still celebrate it with joy and family togetherness. There is no controversy over whether or not a manger scene can be on display or if you can say "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays". There is not a check on political correctness as there is with Christmas and Easter. It was nice.
Anyway, while I enjoy Canada there is still nothing like an American holiday celebration and the last time I had an American Thanksgiving was (I think) in it was wonderful to be home :)

We decided to head back on we left my Mom's house at about noon. All was good (read: the girls were sleeping) until we hit the little pass before Bellingham heading North. It started to snow and the roads quickly turned to sheets of ice. It took us (and many others) 3 hours to cover 9 miles. Many people slid off the road...thankfully we were not one of them.
To entertain the girls for that time I did puppets shows (with the puppets that Grandma gave the girls for Christmas...thank you Grandma) , read them stories, and sung songs. They were VERY GOOD!

We arrived in Bellingham at around 4 and I called Olive Garden to see if they were open...they were and so we exited the freeway (a treacherous thing) and went to Olive Garden as we had only eaten breakfast and were starving. Plus we needed a break from the car. So we took a detour that usually takes 5 minutes. It took us 20 and, of all things, we got stuck going up the drive-way to the restaurant. Now we did not pack clothes for snow when we left home so we were not dressed for snow (we had chocolate, water, matches, and wool blankets...just in case). So Shaun got out in his track suite and started digging out the car with the cooler lid (talk about ill prepared). Anyway, about 10 minutes went by and some people came up the driveway behind us and got a little stuck themselves. They got out of their car and helped us out of our stuckness :) and then Shaun helped them. While we were getting unstuck Olive Garden CLOSED! Sooooo...
We had placed a call to Shaun's step-sister Becca to see if we could stay with them over night as we were not going to make it home. They got back to us at about this time and they graciously said we could come AND they would feed us we pressed on Blaine. It is only 18 miles from Bellingham but considering we had just gone 9 miles in 3 hours...18 miles seemed a bit daunting. Plus when we got on the freeway a semi was jack knifed across the freeway going the other way. All in all we probably passed about 30 cars in the ditch. After we got on our way another semi jack-knifed going the way we were going the whole freeway was closed for hours.
ANYWAY, all that to was a bit harrowing It took us 6 hours to cover what normally takes 2 hours...but we made it. When we got to Becca and William's they greeted us with "your dinner is ready". That was the best meal I think I've eaten in a LONG time :). We were so hungry!!!! Thank you Crossno family for taking us in and taking care of us :)
We left at noon the next day. the border was not busy and once we got into Canada the roads were clear. So we made it easily to Dad and Nan's house to pick up Keiko (She had had a few sleep overs at Papa and Nanny's house...thank you Papa and Nanny). And then we headed home. We got home at 3 o'clock, unpacked, and started cleaning as we had home group at 7. That was our not so much of a nutshell :).

So thanks for reading :)
One tired girl

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A God Thing is a God thing:
the house we are renting went on the market a bit ago. When it went on the market it totally threw Shaun and I into a spin. We love where we live. We love the area. It's close to our church and our community. The yard is perfect. We can walk to the store, video store, bank, STARBUCKS (not that we go...but you know), a farmer's market, a huge park, etc. It just suits us. Anyway, when the house was listed the market simply DIED. And this is amazing for Vancouver. Houses have been selling like there's no tomorrow. Shaun and I looked and looked for a house to rent. then we decided to just stay put until we got an eviction notice due to sale. then we decided to look again for a house when we started this business and needed shop space. In other words we have been going back and forth and it's been quite unsettling. Whenever we've looked for another place Shaun and I just didn't have any sort of peace to go ahead. So we didn't.
Well our landlord called last night and said he's taken the house off of the market. YEAH YEAH YEAH! I can't tell you how much of a burden just rolled off of my back at that news. And then it was like God just smiled at me and said "See I always take care of you. Stop trying to take care of you yourself. It only causes you stress and pain". That reminds me of some verses :)

Steep Yourself in God-Reality Luke 12:22-24 (The Message)

He continued this subject with his disciples. "Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.
25-28"Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can't even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
29-32"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
33-34"Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can't go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being
. counterculture. Ah well...let them think me crazy. I have all of eternity to be sane.

God's Princess and my husband's Queen

Friday, November 17, 2006

Update on Miss M


This morning at 8 o'clock Miss Mercedes and i went in for her dental surgery. They put an I.V. in her arm and in 5 seconds she was out. she didn't even have time to close her eyelids it was so fast.

At about 8:45 the dentist came in and told me that she would wake up in the next 15 minutes. They did a root canal on on of her top right molars and capped the whole thing with a silver crown. She also had five other small cavities. He also put a clear covering on her back molars. He said that the way her teeth are shaped that they collect food. He said he could tell that she was a snacker (which she is. she eats small portions all day long). It doesn't have to do with sugar intake but carbohydrate intake which we all eat...healthy or unhealthy. Anyway, it was an interesting lesson. :) I didn't feel like such a terrible parent after that.

When she woke up she whimpered and then cried for awhile...but she was good.

Mercedes threw up all the way home (20 minutes or so). When we got home she wanted to watch a show. So Shaun put on a show and i went to the store to buy some jello (which she didn't like), popsicles (which she loved) and some stuff for chicken soup (which she refused to even try).

She lay on the couch for awhile but then she started walking around and then she wanted Shaun to chase her around the circle (we have a circle in our know every house should have one...that goes through the kitchen, the hallway, the living room, and the playroom...Keiko and the girls have a blast running around it for quite awhile each day when it's raining). She never did take a nap today. She just lay on the couch watching movies. Then from 4 to 7 our best friends came over and the kids played. Since we put her to be we haven't heard a peep. She passed out right away. She ate really well today.

So in all I would say so far it was a success. She is pale and has dark circles under her eyes but she is happy and active. So thank you for all your prayers. They were answered. I am so thankful.

I definitely learned my lesson...I will take my kids to Pediatric dentists from now on. we could have avoided the whole root canal thing on a three year old if I had known about this in the first place.

Well my world is quiet and I need to sleep.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Disillusioned (not for the first or last time I imagine)

So maybe this has become my journal...I promise not to bore you EVERY day...or twice a day like this! BUT...
Shaun and I just watched a movie called "The Road to Guantanamo". It's about 3 British boys who were held in Guantanamo military prison for 3 years with no charges or trials. It is said that 750 prisoners have gone through this prison and only 10 have been charged...500 are still there (I believe I have the numbers correct but don't quote me on it).
ok tuck your toes in...because here comes a rant...
What is going on? That is not the America I grew up believing in!!!
You know the interesting thing about the poster for this movie that you are looking at is that the film board didn't approve it. They only allowed the manacled hands to be on the know why? Because it might disturb children... showing know what? I've seen some very demonic and scary film posters for scary movies...where were they then this film board who was so worried about scaring children?
I was so enraged by what I saw that I'm still awake! And that's saying something for a woman who has a daughter who was up A LOT last night I'm TIRED! And I cherish my sleep at this point in my life. But I'm so mad and the stupid thing is I feel impotent to do anything.
Now I went to the web page: and I was pleased to see that they have a page that is headed "get active" and it tells people how to help...that is what bothered me about the movie "Human Trafficking". It didn't tell you how to help. We in the West have the ability to make a difference in so many things. I've been asking myself...What am I passionate about? Shaun and I are determined to make a difference in that area! We will find a way. The beauty about people is that we are not all passionate about the same if we all look at ourselves and see what makes us tick then perhaps we could as a collective whole make a whole difference...pipe dream? Maybe! But I'm willing to try.
I know there will never be peace on Revelations! Never! Well until the Lord until then be a piece of hope to the hopeless. Without hope...what is there?
Ok I'm can untuck your toes :)
Oh...I suppose the the good news is that I know the end of the story...the good guy He MORE than wins!
the verse that keeps coming back into my head is is Psalm 82: 3,4 " Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. 4 Deliver them from the hand of the wicked" There are many more along that line...

Worried...not supposed to do that...but am!

Well...I got a call this afternoon from the Pediatric dental group that is going to do Mercedes' dental surgery this Friday (Nov. 17...consequently Auntie Ange's b-day...happy birthday to you). She has to be there at 7:30 and will be done by 10 a.m. She will be under general anathetic.
When I got off the phone I started shaking all over and had al little cry. It just hit me all at once while I was on the phone. Anyway, please pray for Miss Mercedes this Friday, the dental surgeons, and her parents!
Love, Tama

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Process

Well I started this web page awhile ago but have done nothing with it...I looked at a friend's blog today and got inspired It's been raining here for the past while and it's quite cozy...I think we are set to break some records set in 1983 this winter. I'm so glad that we live on a hill and in the upper part of a house thus no floods for us. YEAH!

There is so much going on with us these days.

Shaun is in the process of starting a woodworking business...something that he has wanted to do for an age. It has been awesome watching Shaun these last years grow and now he is blossoming and IT IS BEAUTIFUL! He is just so...well the most amazing man...and I would know .

The girls are growing Growing GROWING! I look at them when I go to do the final tuck in right before I go to bed and am amazed at their sweetness, beauty, how big they are, and all the potencial in those wee bodies (that are getting less "wee" every day). I sorted through every scrap of their clothing yesterday...even going to far as to empty out every drawer (yeah I know!). I came across the last remnants of tiny baby shoes and socks in Portia's top drawer. I took them out and set them on the bed waiting to see if I could find the mates. Soon I had a little pile of various sizes of socks. I sat down and just looked at them and went through pictures in my mind of when the girls had each worn these small socks and how little they were. I got really nastalgic and a little sad thinking that those precious baby times are over for us. And then I closed that chapter for good and moved on to the bigger socks. It was a small silly thing but somehow it was a process I needed to go through yesterday. I seem to grieve every chapter closing...and then I am able enjoy the new chapter .

We have started a home group (or a "Life Group" as we call it in our church) at our house. We have been amazed and awed by the goodness of our God. The people that have come in to form the home group are wonderful. They are now friends. We prayed for a long while before embarking on this particular journey. So far it has been an astounding blessing to us. We meet every Monday night. We are reading a book called "Blue Like Jazz" by a Christian Spirituality writter named Donald Miller. Shaun and I read this book this summer on the recommendation of a friend and got quite a bit out of it. But it's quite a different experience going through the book with a group and talking about it. I am getting completely different things from it this time around.

We have now been back in the lower mainland for 2 years and a bit. It's been so nice to put down roots. We have some lovely friends. We have great family here as well. We have all the grandparents pretty close by. That is just lovely! My mom just moved to the Seattle area a few months she is closer and that is WONDERFUL! The girls just adore Grandma (Portia calls her "Babuh"). They have so much fun together those 3. And then there is Shaun's parents...Papa and Nanny. I just have to say that between those three (Babuh, Papa, and Nanny) they have put so much into our 2 beauties. It really does take a village to raise a child. I have really come to appreciate and enjoy the process of watching the grandparents and grandchildren interact. There is nothing like it. Each have something uniquely wonderful to share. Then there are aunts, uncles, and cousins. Our children are RICH in the love poured into them.

We will be going down to my mom's house for American Thanksgiving. We are really anticipating that. It will be fun to see her new home and area. We are also so excited to be able to go to Edmonton for Christmas this year to share Christmas with Shaun's brother and fabulous family. We have 2 nephews and 1 niece there. We are looking forward to a boisterous Christmas.

Over the last few years of being first a new wife and then a new mother twice over I have focused intensely on those things and loved it. That is all I had time for. But now I have a little more time to think straight. Well let me start by saying when I was younger I would hear all of these songs in my head. I didn't know how to write them down because mostly they didn't have words to start with. Over time I pretty much ignored that and it went away. Over the last few months I have been praying that that gift would come back so that I could write them down this time. I have been wanting to compose some songs and then sing them with Shaun Maybe lay down a C.D. one of these days. That has been a dream on the back burner for awhile so perhaps in the next little while that will start to become a reality. We'll see.

Over these last 8 years I have grown up. So many lessons have been learned (not to say I'm done learning by a long shot)but perhaps now I have more to write about. Anyway, I am a work in process. I will not be complete until I reach heaven. May that process bring glory to God. Over the last little while I have been thinking about a few people in the Bible and the titles given to them...for example Abraham was God's friend...WOW!!! or King David was a man after God's own heart. and then I look at their lives as recorded in the Bible and it gives me much hope...I mean really LOOK at DAVID this "man after God's heart" he committed murder, adultry, I mean this guy messed up all the time but the thing about him...the whole Psalms are David saying sorry and making his heart right before his God. Or Abraham he lied A LOT! gives me hope that it's not perfection that God is looking for but rather the state of our heart...constantly seeking Him. What a wonder. I hope that God will call me His "friend". I think I would like that very much...well no come to think of it he calls me His child...His princess. I like that even better. I am the apple of His eye. hmmmmmmmmmmmm how rich is that .

Well while I have been waxing eloquent my daughters have been pouring sugar all over the kitchen floor and breaking pottery ....LOVELY! Maybe I don't have more time...must run.

A Princess